For example, Dutch workers are on par with American workers in terms of productivity per hour. They pay higher taxes and earn less than Americans. But on average, they work roughly 11 weeks less than their American counterparts each year, have access to government-funded health care, pay little or nothing for a college education, and have far more leisure time than the American.
When UNICEF recently ranked 21 industrialized nations by well-being for children, Netherlands was on top and the United States was near the bottom, in 20th place.
Guess who also ranked happier with life overall? The Dutch worker.
But Americans still labor on.
"The idea that we can grow our economies forever and ensure everyone a full-time job is a myth," Hunnicutt said. "We have to deliberately choose to work less and therefore buy less."